The Wisconsin Public Service Commission has been demonstrating a very disturbing pattern during the approval process of the Highland Wind Turbine Project proposed for the Town of Forest.
Recently a ruling on intervener compensation to be distributed among concerned parties involved in the case awarded more than $40,000 to the wind lobby for expert witness testimony on noise emissions generated by the turbines and internal expenses.
The wind lobby is a multi-million dollar organization with huge corporate donors. The citizen’s action group in Forest defending against the turbine project had only a few thousand dollars when all the accounting was done at the time of submittal and was given only $20,000 for all legal expenses. Nothing at all was awarded for expert witnesses.
Two weeks ago, the Wisconsin PSC issued an assessment report that concluded that no Environmental Impact Study is necessary for the Town of Forest. The health effects on people living in the area, real estate devaluation, effects on wildlife, including six bald eagle nests, will be ignored. All efforts toward the approval process by the PSC are in favor of the wind developer and meeting the timeline to start construction.
The Public Service Commission was established to oversee utility operations in a non- competitive environment and is “dedicated to serving the public interest,” according to their website. There seems to be two glaring problems that contradict the PSC mission statement.
First, there is a definite liberal agenda that is promoting green energy no matter what the cost, inefficiency of performance and location, and effects on the area it would be built in. The majority of PSC staff, and at least one commissioner, a hold-over from Gov. Doyle’s administration, appear to fit this description.
The second issue is that some PSC staff members and the two commissioners appointed by Gov. Walker are way too close to the folks they are supposed to be regulating. The tenacity of how PSC has gone out of its way to stifle any public opposition to building 41 500-ft. turbines in the little Town of Forest supports this observation.
The staff and commissioners of the WI PSC have set themselves up in very secure and comfortable jobs funded by our tax dollars. They have the attitude that their agency operations and the decisions they make, cannot be held accountable by the governor or the legislature and even by the citizens of the State of Wisconsin.
Please contact Gov. Walker and your elected representatives and voice your concerns over the WI PSC’s lack of serving the public interest. Remember, the PSC has the power to authorize electric utility rate increases. If allowed to continue with their current policies, your electric bill could be 25 to 30 percent higher in the next five years.
Town of Forest
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